Two Brethren Volunteer Service workers are setting out on a bicycle tour called “BVS Coast to Coast.” Chelsea Goss, originally from Mechanicsville, Va., and Rebekah Maldonado-Nofziger, who grew up in Pettisville, Ohio, are both BVS volunteers and plan to cross the country on their bicycles in support of the Church of the Brethren program.
“BVS Coast to Coast” will start from Virginia’s Atlantic coast on May 1, and is projected to end by late August on Oregon’s Pacific coast. The cyclists will visit congregations and communities along the way, holding events to raise awareness of Brethren Volunteer Service and the ministries it supports. They hope BVS supporters and church members will want to help host them and ride along for parts of the journey as they cross the country.
A Kick-Off Dinner will be hosted by the New Community Project, 715 N. Main St., Harrisonburg, Va., on Tuesday, May 6, starting at 5:30 p.m. The kick-off event will include music, games, and a potluck meal. All are welcomed.
Planned stops include several Church of the Brethren summer events: Young Adult Conference in late May, the Annual Conference in early July in Columbus, Ohio, and the National Youth Conference in late July in Fort Collins, Colo.
The Brethren Volunteer Service mission of “Sharing God’s love through acts of service” has four emphases: advocating justice, working for peace, serving human need, and caring for creation. BVS has been a ministry of the Church of the Brethren since 1948, placing volunteers in full-time assignments in the United States and some international locations, typically lasting one or two years ( www.brethren.org/BVS ).
About the cyclists
Rebekah Maldonado-Nofziger grew up in Pettisville, Ohio. She attended Eastern Mennonite University and graduated with a nursing credential. Since then, she has found herself working with diverse and often times marginalized people. She has worked at Catholic Charities-The Health Care Network in Washington, D.C.; Harrisonburg (Va.) Community Health Center; and currently at New Community Project, also in Harrisonburg. At all three workplaces, she has had the privilege of working with some of the Spanish-speaking community and has loved it. While in the Washington area she lived in an intentional community called Mitri House, and in Harrisonburg for a time lived at the New Community Project Spring Village House, and deems both of those experiences times of growth and challenge. She is excited and honored to partner with Brethren Volunteer Service to bike across the country. In her mind, bicycling is one of the best means of transportation. She has high hopes that after this trip, she will be able to bike to Bolivia when the right time comes.
Chelsea Goss is originally from Mechanicsville, Va., and is a member of West Richmond Church of the Brethren. She graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in Liberal Studies. She has found numerous ways to serve the communities in which she has lived. She has spent time working for On Earth Peace as Peace Retreat Coordinator. At Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., she was the resident volunteer and Summer Program Coordinator. At New Community Project she served as an intern and volunteer. Currently she is volunteer staff for Brethren Volunteer Service in Elgin, Ill. She also has lived in three different intentional communities, and hopes that she can create that kind of living space in the future. Although she is newer to biking, she hopes that bicycling will be implemented more in her daily living after the “BVS Coast to Coast” experience.
For more about “BVS Coast to Coast” or to follow a blog see http://bvscoast2coast.brethren.org . On Twitter follow BVScoast2coast. Contact the cyclists by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a telephone message with the BVS Office at 847-429-4383.